Crows trying to crack St Kilda's defensive code: Nicks

·2-min read
Julian Smith/AAP PHOTOS

Adelaide's players will cop a proverbial "punch in the face" from St Kilda, Crows coach Matthew Nicks says.

And just how they react will be pivotal to the outcome of Sunday's Adelaide Oval encounter, he says.

"We have got a plan coming in to St Kilda," Nicks said.

"But it's all good until you get punched in the face and then we have got to be ready for that.

"And we will definitely get a punch in the face this weekend, they're a good side."

The Saints, under new coach Ross Lyon, held third spot entering the round with six wins and two losses.

And Lyon's defensive methods, honed in his initial stint at the Saints and then at Fremantle, have been trademark.

Entering round nine, St Kilda had conceded the least scores of any club, an average of 59.25 points a game - the next-best is Collingwood (72.38 per match).

"We know we are going to have our work cut out for us," Nicks said of his Crows, who are 10th with four wins and four losses.

"They (St Kilda) are disciplined and they're focused and they work hard in the contest but they focus their mindset in the right space.

"They are very much about limiting the opposition and then punishing on turnover - and they're very, very good at it.

"They have got an experienced coach, highly respected, and he has been able to drive that in them reasonably quickly.

"It's a credit to him ... they're playing some really strong footy."

But Nicks said the Crows, despite consecutive defeats to pacesetters Geelong (26 points) and Collingwood (one point), were also performing well.

"We have had our chances and we have fallen short ... but ultimately we go through those games with a fine tooth comb and look at how we can improve," he said.

"We also look at a lot of the positives.

"And at the moment there's 80 per cent positive that we're doing really well.

"We have just got to get that (other) 20 per cent right and that will get us the result, or the scalp if you want to call it that."